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IS 201 Introduction to International Studies and Political Science

IS 201

Assignment 1 - Homework 1 (10% of Final Grade): Review the readings by Weber and Aristotle and read and reflect upon the following four articles :

  • On Tancítaro, Neva and Monterrey: Fisher, M., Taub, A. & Martínez, D. (2018). Losing faith in the state, some Mexican towns quietly break away. The New York Times.  
    • Direct NYT link or VMI link to NYT article (if you don't have an NYT account)
  • On Tancítaro: Fisher, M., & Taub, A. (2018). Building a mini-state with avocados and guns. The New York Times.
    •   Direct NYT link or VMI link to NYT article (if you don't have an NYT account)
  • On Catalonia (background): Catalonia's bid for independence from Spain explained. (2018). BBC News
  • On the possibility of Catalan secession: Beramendi, P. (2017, September 29). [Interview by Z. Laub]. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). CFR

Then answer the following questions. Your answers should be numbered.

  1. Briefly summarize Aristotle's conception of politics and  political organization.
  2. Briefly summarize Weber's conception of politics and  political organization.
  3. What are the similarities between the conceptualizations of the two authors? What are the differences?
  4. Which is more useful for understanding contemporary political dynamics in Mexico (Tancítaro, in particular)? Why? (NOTE: You need to address both Weber and Aristotle in your answer)
  5. Which is more useful for understanding contemporary political dynamics in Catalonia? Why? (NOTE: You need to address both Weber and Aristotle in your answer)
  6. What is the best way to determine whether Weber or Aristotle are more accurate in describing the contemporary world? (NOTE: you should not try to determine which is more useful, rather you need to explain how you could determine which is more useful)
     
  7. Include a bibliography using proper and consistent citations (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/ (Links to an external site.)). Your bibliography should also include 3 additional relevant academic sources for studying Catalan secession and 3 additional relevant academic sources for studying Mexican warlordism that you could use if you were to continue to research these topics.